Julio has an indispensable Knowledgebase on modern and ancient Peruvian culture.
I'd been traveling through Argentina, Uruguay and Chile before working as a volunteer in the Karikuy volunteer writing program. In the time that I spent in Karikuy I felt a lot more about the local way of life, traditional and modern than in the rest of my trip combined. Julio has an indispensable Knowledgebase on modern and ancient Peruvian culture. To that end, he's also full of interesting and varied anecdotes. Big props to him overall.
In August I volunteered with Julio for a month. I decided to volunteer because I wanted to stay longer in one place and that way get to know real Peruvian life - and thanks to Julio and his family I learned a lot about Peruvian culture, life, food, birthday parties, clubs, anticuchos etc...:)! I enjoyed Peru a lot - we did some amazing travels to Machu Picchu, Nazca, Huacachina, Marcahuasi, Arequipa and Puno. Peru is a beautiful country with a lot of interesting history - let's go and look for the "El Dorado", Julio:)!!! Bueno, muchas gracias por todo. Saludos tambien a Karikuy - el gato LOCOOOOOO.
Volunteering for Karikuy has driven my interest to return to Peru and pursue future projects. With the environmental research I did for the Perupedia project, I am able to walk away with a depth of knowledge about a country I don't normally have when I travel. And with the volunteer project I was able to plan and take trips around Peru to get to know the culture and beauty of its diverse geography. Living with a Peruvian family, eating Peruvian food and residing in one of Lima's oldest neighborhoods offers an unparalleled experience. Get used to counting your expenditures with Peruvian hamburgers and learning to live with your heart wide open.
I was the volunteer guinea pig so as to speak, though perhaps that's a bad analogy to use here since the guinea pig is often cooked for meals in Peru. My time volunteering with Karikuy was actually much more pleasant than that. The structure is set up so that you will really get out of the experience what you put into it. One of my main draws to the program was experiencing a different culture and way of living. The people were friendly, the food was good, the sites are worth seeing, and the work environment is relaxed (and often more like a vacation). I stayed for a month, but easily could have stayed longer, if not for prior plans and plane tickets to travel elsewhere. If you're looking for a unique way to experience Lima, the tourist options of Peru, as well as get unique insights into Peruvian living that the average tourist never sees, give the Karikuy experience a go! Plus, all the while you get to work on the Perupedia project to help others learn about Peru. Who knows, maybe you'll see me back there sometime too.
It does not matter what your expectations of Peru are, your trip is guaranteed to exceed them. Peru is a beautiful country that pictures can not even begin to capture. You must go there yourself, and Karikuy is definitely the way to get there; great tours at even greater prices. Julio does an amazing job planning everything and takes all the stress out of international travel. I will definitely be returning sometime. We had so much fun in our 9 days that we had to stay another. Whole heartedly recommended.
Seriously, Karikuy is the way to go. Professional, organized, and personalized service from the second you inquire about a tour to the moment you board the plane back for home. Every day was a mind-blowing adventure, and the experiences would not have been possible without Julio's help. He is extremely well-versed in the country, and has many connections throughout the Peruvian travel scene to make your vacation dreams possible. And talk about a good deal! This was my college graduation gift on a whim to myself, and I couldn't believe all we got for the price.... lodging, domestic travel, activities ranging from sandboarding in Huacachina to exploring the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. And Julio is such a down-to-earth and fun guy... you seriously would be missing out if you didn't have such a fantastic guide.
I've traveled to a few different countries in the last few years, and this travel agency has been by far the most cordial and informational. This is a stark contrast to many other horror stories I witnessed while in Peru of other agencies losing people's money and reservations. Karikuy truly embodies the warm spirit of Peru. When first arriving in Cusco, we were immediately greeted by a friendly woman and driver who helped us carry our things and drove us to the hostel. When we arrived, it was very easy to check in. The next day we were guided around by an extremely informational tour guide while we witnessed the beauties of the surrounding Cusco. When it was time for the Inca trail we had no problems meeting out trail guide and starting the trail. Every day in Cusco was simply beautiful, and extremely non-stressful. I attribute this to the travel agency. This trend continued throughout my two week stay in Peru. Traveling to another country can be extremely stressful due to many factors such as climate, language, food, and people. The last thing one needs is for the travel agency to be incompetent. If you want a stress free experience in beautiful Peru, I would travel no other way than with Karikuy.
Earlier in the year I took a wonderful trip throughout multiple locations in Peru with friends. The people who I went through to set up the trip were helpful and hands-on along the way. Costs were extremely reasonable for travel fare, food, accommodations, etc. Along the trail leading to Machu Picchu I was doubly impressed by how well we were taken care of by friendly guides, cooks & porters. I have no complaints and took back countless memories. Thanks Julio!
If you are planning on going to Peru then Karikuy is the way to go! I was able to experience the mystical Incan ruins, wild Peruvian nightlife, and catch some secret local hotspots thanks to our guide Julio. It is possible to backpack independently but if you travel with Karikuy you will be sure to have a knowledgeable and reliable guide. I rate the trip an A+ and plan to return in the future.